GMA calls for the UN to help alleviate global food and oil problem

Thursday, September 25, 2008 0 comments

Taken from the article Philippines calls on UN to help poorer countries fight soaring food, fuel prices on the UN News center dated September 23, 2008.

The developing world is at a “tipping point” due to fluctuations in the global economy, the President of the Philippines told the General Assembly today, calling on the United Nations for its assistance in ensuring that financial uncertainties do not roll back development gains.
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, addressing the annual high-level debate in New York, underscored how her country is suffering from the burden of soaring prices of food, fuel and rice.
“Our people pursue the universal dream of a better life for themselves and their children: better education, better health care, higher wages, a dignified retirement,” she said.
The Philippines has made “hard-earned” gains over the past seven years that have allowed the South-East Asian nation to weather the first tide of global price surges that swept across the world earlier this year, Ms. Arroyo said, but the recent economic turmoil in world markets has had a profound impact.
“To address these global challenges, we must go on building bridges among allies around the world: to bring the [price of] rice to where it is needed to feed the people, investments to create jobs; and keep the peace and stability in the world,” she stated.
The President praised Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for taking swift and decisive measures to address the global food crisis that brings together multilateral organizations, donor countries, civil society and the private sector.
“This is a model of the Untied Nations in action,” she said.
Regarding the southern island of Mindanao, which has been wracked by recent deadly violence, Ms. Arroyo voiced her commitment to peace based on inter-faith dialogue.
“We maintain high hopes in inter-faith dialogue as a means to building bridges rather than barriers between communities of different cultures and ethnicity.”
Viewing the global food crisis through the lens of climate change, Finnish President Tarja Halonen said that managing natural resources in a more sustainable manner will help to alleviate poverty, especially in rural areas, offering her nation’s support in this arena.
Global warming has the potential to “bring into question the whole future of mankind,” she said, adding that recent extreme weather phenomena are a harbinger of worse events to come.
“Multilateral engagement and shared responsibility are the only effective means to tackle this global menace,” Ms. Halonen said. “There is no place for petty politics and recrimination.”
She highlighted the importance of the UN in responding to climate change, emphasizing the need to reach agreement next year in Copenhagen, Denmark, on a successor pact to the Kyoto Protocol, whose first commitment period ends in 2012.
Many sectors of society – including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the private sector, individual citizens and governments – must be involved to mitigate global warming, the President noted. “We need everybody; it is necessary that also women can participate in this work.”
Further, both industrialized and developing nations must take part in combating climate change, she said.

Ghost Private Organizations or Just GMA Herself?


Recent news have said that the Department of Agriculture are now investigating the alleged ghost private organizations that received almost 450 million pesos of funds for the said agricultural and food productivity project of GMA. Antipolo Philanthropy Foundation, Inc. received 146 million in 2007 and an additional 30 million in 2008. The Chairman of this foundation was a certain Johnny Tan. National Organization for Agricultural Enhancement and Productivity, Inc. got 44 million, Commoners Foundation, Inc. 9.1 million, Las Marias Foundation, Inc. also received 34 million pesos. These were only the few private foundations received money from the Department of Agriculture suppose to be for the farmers for the Philippines to raise rice, vegetable and animal production. But when the Commission of Audit investigated these foundations were non existent. How can this huge amount of money be not secured and assured that it will not go into the wrong hands? Could it be that it was really a big cover up? Could it be that GMA used this money on the election for her own use?
How can our country be on the road to progress when we, the people, are clearly mocked by the persons that are supposed to be leading us. Are we just content on just sitting and doing nothing while these malicious people rob us of our own money? Surely I can't let that happen, but while a few corrupt people control the three seats of this government, we are left to squander in the dark. It is annoying and insulting to hear this kind of news everyday and it is even more insulting to hear that this has remained to be the longest ever disease that is plaguing this country since the Marcos regime. How can corruption be cured? These autocrats should be thrown down to hell, be punished and left there to burn forever. Progress in this country will remain as a painfully long nightmare that will never cease unless we act and do something about it.

A New Threat to the Ozone Layer

Wednesday, September 24, 2008 0 comments

Taken from the article Scientists Discover New Global Warming Threat: 'Methan Time Bomb' Under Arctic Seabed by Andrew Williams, published on September 23rd, 2008.

Scientists have today warned that global warming could rapidly accelerate as millions of tons of methane escape from the arctic seabed. According to preliminary findings, as the Arctic region gets warmer massive deposits of the greenhouse gas - 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide - are rising to the surface.
Orjan Gustafsson of Stockholm University, one of the expedition’s leaders, said in an email from their Russian research ship that, for the first time, the team had discovered an extensive area of methane release so intense that “the methane did not have time to dissolve into the seawater but was rising as methane bubbles to the sea surface.” The team believe that the accelerated release is connected to rising temperatures throughout the Arctic region.
Gustafsson went on to report that “the conventional thought has been that the permafrost ‘lid’ on the sub-sea sediments on the Siberian shelf should cap and hold the massive reservoirs of shallow methane deposits in place.” However, extensive research across thousands of square miles of the Arctic seabed had revealed growing evidence “that the permafrost lid is starting to get perforated and thus leak methane.”

How Ecco-savvy are You?

Sunday, September 21, 2008 0 comments

Take this quiz here.

The Rust that Corrodes the Sword


Recently several justices of the Court of Appeals signed a "Covenant of Moral Recovery" led by presiding justice Conrado Vasquez Jr., amid a raging bribery scandal. Vasquez, who was given a severe reprimand by the Supreme Court is still adamant to several sectors pushing for the involved justices to resign, including himself. This was all in connection with Court of Appeals' handling of the management dispute between MERALCO and GSIS.
We can only hope that the commitment of the CA will go beyond the mere signing of a covenant. The Court of Appeals scandal has raised more questions about the integrity of the judiciary system and the extent of corruption in the administration of justice.
i beg to disagree that among all three branches of the government the Judiciary has managed to retain a degree of public trust. Even before this recent turbulence, corruption has plagued the justice halls of this country. Nothing is spared from the rust that corrodes everything. But would they allow the rot in their system to spread? It all depends on them. They have to prove that persons who started this scandal should be punished by the hand that is never biased to anyone especially those with power. the people should see a change in the usual norm. we are hungry for change. We are hungry for answers and we hope that "Covenant for Moral Recovery" attains its avowed objective.

The Deep Breath Before the Plunge

Saturday, September 20, 2008 0 comments

These past few days news of the US going into the brink of recession has been all over the television and newspapers around the world. Global economies try to cope up and analysts founder to explain that the world is not likely to sink in just because the US did, that the other regions of the world will provide their own momentum to keep the world economy expanding. But they are wrong, Alex Magno in his article Coupled in the Manila Star dated September 16 said, "Without exception, all the world's economies are, to varying degrees, trying to cope with an inflationary surge combined with a diminished growth momentum. The reason for this is that the inflationary epidemic is caused by rising commodity prices traded globally, principally oil and food." This is so true. Recently the loss of the giant investment bank Lehman Brothers and AIG, the take over of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Merill Lynch have sent out ripples of financial volatility across the globe. Investors take in fear and stock markets plummet down to all time low. It is clear now how closely interconnected the world has become because of globalization. It is also obvious how the world has become dependent of superpower countries especially the US.
"Europe's financial institutions, already rattled by the fallout from the subprime crisis in the US, could be further weakened by falling property prices in the continent. The UK is in particularly bad shape, as we see in the rapid depreciation of its currency the past few weeks.
In Asia, we could hardly expect Japan to provide the economic leadership it used to enjoy. The Japanese economy will likely sink into recession this year.
Plagued by political problems, neither Latin America nor Africa are in a position to help shore up global growth."
We see now the dire outcome of the interlinking of global economies. If the downfall of one becomes the downfall of all, what will happen to countries like the Philippines? Poor countries only enjoy spectator privileges and cannot play a role to help others because they themselves need help. We can only watch as the US sink down further into the quicksand because we have been in the quicksand long before the US fell on it. Who can save us now? I personally don't know the answer. I am not an analyst and I know little of economics. I can only point out my lay opinion about what's happening around.
Alex Magno ended his article "We march in step. Not because we want to but because we need to. If our interest rate regime, for instance, deviates too much from those prevailing in other similarly situated market, it will force our currency to appreciate more that what would be healthy." A dire prediction indeed.
We take the deep breath before the plunge and hope that help will soon come to get us out of the quicksand before it is all too late.

A Green Tie-up

Friday, September 19, 2008 0 comments

Taken from the article "Basic Energy, Canadian firm tie up for bioethanol project" by Zinnia B. Dela Peña on the Business Section of the Philippine Star, Sept. 16, 2008

Basic Energy Corp., has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Canadian-based Nexum Energy Corp. to jointly develop a bioethanol plant in the Philippines. In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Basic Energy said the proposed joint venture project involves the development and operation of a 200,000 liter per day ethanol plant using cassava as feedstock.

The Plant, to be located in Zamboanga del Norte, seeks to produce up to eight megawatts of green power, natural gas and organic fertilizers.

Nexum has exclusive sales and marketing rights to the Philippines for the "Nexum Technoology". It owns, licenses, constructs, operates and markets EnviroPlus, a proprietary, patent-pending technology expected to revolutionize the conventional ethanol industry.

EnviroPlus combines proven conventional front-end ethanol production and back-end biogas technologies. It is expected that this combination will formulate the most energy-efficient ethanol facility.

Jose Reyes, Jr., executive vice-president and treasurer of Basic Energy, said Nexum is one of three foreign companies the company is in talks with as possible strategic operating and financial partners for its proposed bioethanol projects.

Aside from the Philippines, Nexum is planning to build ethanol plants in Indonesia and Vietnam, Reyes said.

The ethanol project is in line with Basic Energy's tie up with EcoMarketFarms Inc. to expand their cassava project in the Zamboanga peninsula. The deal is expected to jumpstart the agricultural operations of Basic Energy and generate initial revenues from the sale of cassava chips to local animal feed manufacturers and eventually to supply the feedstock requirements of the planned ethanol plant.

Under the agreement, the two corporations will set up joint venture where Basic Energy will provide the capital while EcoMarketFarms will provide the business and management plans for the project.

Basic Energy will purchase EcoMarketFamrs' cassava plantation for P12.5 million, payable through shares and cash.

Basic Energy aims to be a leading player in the exploration, production and supply of alternative fuels and renewable energy, oil and allied products and services.

Hoping to capitalize on the anticipated demand for fuel with mandatory five percent blend of bioethanol with gas by May 2009, basic Energy, through wholy-owned unit Basic Biofuels, will initially build two bioethanol plants estimated to cost P6.74 billion.

Based on a forecast by the Department of Energy, domestic bioethanol demand is seen to reach 309 million liters per annum by 2009 and is seen to increase further to 664 million liters by 2011 and 713 million liters by 2013.

Under Construction

Wednesday, September 3, 2008 0 comments

Sorry folks, posts are for the mean time suspended until I finish tinkering with my tempate css. I shall continue on then after. Till then!

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